Posters for selling puppies are pasted near the Fort Railway Station area which include contact numbers of two prominent Human Rights Defenders Nimalka Fenando and Sunil Jayasekara as part of larger plan to intimidate and insult them.
Dr. Nimalka Fernando is the President of Japan based International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR) and a leading human rights defender in Sri Lanka. Sunila Jayasekara is the convener of the media freedom watch dog the Free Media Movement ant and outspoken human rights defender in Sri Lanka.
Both of them have come under numerous attacks and threats in recent times for their activism.
Dr. Fernando discribes the poster campaign as fellows:
”At about 7.30 am today I received a call purportedly from the Fort Police inquiring from me whether there are some puppies to be sold. I thought it was a nuisance caller and informed him that I am not in dog business. He then informed me that there are some posters in Fort with the mobile number he called(this is my number). I called the mobile back and asked him the reason for calling me whether he wants to buy the puppies.”
”He then introduced himself as one Indrajith from the Environment Police Division and said since he took over night duty he saw many small posters put up near the Fort Railway Station area and decided to call me since such act is polluting the area etc. I was also informed that both my mobile numbers were there. I asked him to give me the other number.”
”I then started dialing the second number and realised that it belongs to Sunil Jayasekera of Free Media Movement !!!! I then also warned him about this matter.”
” The posters were displayed in an around the area in front of the Fort Railway Station where we normally hold our demonstrations.”
”I will now send a letter to Fort Police and IGP requesting them to apprehend any person putting up such posters since this would relate to an offense etc.”
Mr. Sunil Jayasekara told SLB that he too has received more then 10 telephone calls asking for puppies and apparently some of the callers just want to harass him.
According to Mr. Jayasekara there could be number of aims for the posters: To use people to harass them; to call them on using the poster as a pretext by organised groups harass them; and to insult them as dog merchants.
Mr. Jayasekara further said that Colombo city especially Fort area is completely covered by the police security camera system and it is not possible to any group to put up posters without the knowledge of the Police. ” Under the Rajapaksa rule pasting posters is closely monitored and it is difficult to believe that any one a paste such posters without the knowledge of the police” Mr. Jayasekara said.